Print Issues

The Bangladesh Paradox

Print Friendly


(Vol 28 No 3)
The Bangladesh Paradox

Despite spurts of interest, Bangladesh does not get the attention warranted by a country of its size, complexity and relevance. This is true of the media coverage within and beyond Southasia, which seems to be part of a larger pattern that undermines the Bangladeshi story. Southasia’s youngest nation state deserves greater attention – for the challenges it faces and for its critical role in key regional and global debates.

Forty-four years after the Liberation War of 1971, the collective memory of the event remains fresh, and the debates it has generated permeate most aspects of Bangladeshi life. In this quarterly, we examine questions ranging from the battles over freedom of expression, the self-identification of minority communities, workers’ struggles on the factory floors, to the country’s fraught relationship with Hindi and Urdu cinema. By looking at the ‘multiple frontiers’ (to use Richard Eaton’s coinage) that is contemporary Bangladesh, we seek to understand what it is that sets the terms for these debates.

Articles include:

Salil Tripathi on how freedom of expression in Bangladesh is caught between the machete and the magistrate.

Prashanta Tripura on how the official position against indigeneity undermines Bangladesh’s adibashi minorities.

Colin Long on the state of trade unionism in the country.

Kasia Paprocki on the depoliticisation of climate change.

Lotte Hoek on the recent furore over Hindi cinema in Bangladesh.

Khademul Islam on the life and times of English-language literary magazines in Bangladesh.

Malini Sur’s poem titled ‘Border night’.


Vijay Prashad reviews Jeremy Seabrook’s The Song of the Shirt. (Full article available)

Garga Chatterjee reviews Gary J Bass’s The Blood Telegram.

Md Akhlas Uddin’s photo feature on the Kaibarta fishing community.

Danny Coyle on new LGBT writing in Nepal.

Bhakti Shah and Sadhana KC’s stories of sexuality and prejudice.

From Archives:

Laxmi Murthy on women and wombs during – and following – the Liberation War.

Afsan Chowdhury on a historian’s move away from history, and back into the real world.

Delwar Hussain on the ‘grey area’ of alternative sexualities in Bangladesh.

Binayak Dutta on the loss and recovery of the history of Sylhet.

Also, check our web-exclusive package that complements this issue. You can get more updates by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

DIGITAL-COPYBuy now - rest of the world Buy now inside Southasia

You can find the issue in bookstores. You can also get the subscription to Himal here. Do check this page (and our Facebook and Twitter profiles) to get the latest updates!


YouTube Channel


  • Quiet and on the edge

    Snehal Sharma, 27 September 2019

    It’s heart breaking! Thank you for actually doing what a journalist should do... because most of our Indian journalists have forgot about their role...

    Read More
  • Hussain Miyan’s last journey

    Saif, 23 September 2019

    Good short story... keep writing.

    Read More
  • My Japanese parents

    Anuradha Banerjea, 18 September 2019

    A sentimental but nevertheless engaging piece that captures vignettes of a time when India was on the cusp of modernisation. Marred by the author's ap...

    Read More